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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9" round or an 8" square pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dates with the butter, baking soda, sugar, salt, and spices. Pour the boiling water over the date mixture, stir to combine, and let cool to room temperature.

  3. Stir in the nuts and flour, then transfer to the prepared pan.

  4. Bake the cake for 24 to 27 minutes, until set but still quite moist; the edges will just barely begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

  5. Remove from the oven and serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.

  6. Store any leftovers covered and refrigerated for up to five days.